Sprinters going into Canadian Hall

DEAN MCNULTY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:43 AM ET

Looking back on Canada's various triumphs at track events in summer Olympic games, it's hard not to point to the double gold won at Atlanta in 1996 as the greatest ever.

Donovan Bailey, fresh off running the fastest individual 100 metres in Olympic history, anchored this country's 4x100 relay team to the second gold rubbing salt in the favoured American team's wounds.

While Bailey, Bruny Surin, Glenroy Gilbert and Robert Esmie had arrived in Atlanta as defending world champions, everyone expected the Americans to bounce back in the event they had owned.

Michael Marsh, a member of that U.S. team, even went so far as to shrug off the Canadians: "This is about America," he said. "We have to win this relay."

With that in mind, Bailey let up in the final 20 metres of the relay knowing the race was won.

"We kicked their ass on their home court," Bailey said.

Today in downtown Toronto, Bailey, Gilbert, Surin and Esmie will be honoured with a group induction into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.

It will be Bailey's second nod at the HOF, where he was inducted for his record-setting individual 100-metre mark in Atlanta-- that held up through the next three Olympics before being broken this year in Bejing by Jamaican Usain Bolt.

Former world heavyweight boxing champion Lennox Lewis also will be enshrined today.

Lewis fought and beat the best of his era including Evander Holyfield, Riddick Bowe and Mike Tyson.

His record at retirement in 2004 stood at 41 wins including 32 knockouts, two losses and one draw.

Steve Yzerman, who retired from the Detroit Red Wings in 2006 with three Stanley Cup rings, three world hockey championships and a pair of Olympic gold medals, will get his likeness in the hall for his hockey exploits.

Pat Gillick, who led the Toronto Blue Jays to a pair of World Series titles in the 1990s and added a third championship to his resume this year with the Philadelphia Phillies, will be honoured in the builders' category.

Also being inducted today are swimmer Nancy Garapick, speed skating legend Marc Gagnon and figure skating executive David Dore.


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